Let's welcome Johns Hopkins to the B1G. The university announced on Monday that their women's (2014) and men's (2015) lacrosse teams will be joining the B1G. This bodes well for the league which now meets the requirements to be an AQ conference. With the B1G adding Maryland and Rutgers, Hopkins will be able to keep their rivalry with the Terrapins alive as a conference foe, which is good for both schools and good for the nascent B1G. Having a built-in rivalry (Michigan and Ohio State notwithstanding) right from the get-go, is tremendous for publicity, but also for recruiting. Now, the traditional B1G schools can recruit kids to their programs with the statement that they will play against two of the best programs ever. And, the incoming members can recruit kids with the statement that they can play some of the most storied schools in the country, period. That's not taking anything away from the likes of Virginia or North Carolina (who may end up joining the league sooner or later anyway.)
Big Ten Commissioner, Jim Delany:
We are excited to announce the launch of Big Ten men's and women's lacrosse and the addition of Johns Hopkins as a sport affiliate member.
Although I was initially against the idea of adding Hopkins, I've come to embrace it, and I now look forward to seeing how this develops and which other school will step up to the plate, er...to the "X". Let's see who is brave enough to bust Midwest development wide open. There are some detractors out there who feel that another conference school adding a lacrosse team isn't worth it. However, it's now a moot point and inevitable, so you may as well accept it. Six teams won't be enough for this league--at least not in the long-term. Look for two more schools to add programs in the relatively near future.
Although Michigan played some very nice teams as a part of the ECAC, including Ohio State, that league is falling apart. Denver announced that they would be moving to the Big East (because Denver is East of...somewhere), and Loyola will be joining the Patriot League. The Wolverines can now test their mettle against the best teams in their home conference. When taking into account the performance of Ohio State and Penn State this year, the addition of Maryland, Hopkins, and Rutgers just made the B1G the powerhouse league in lacrosse. This is a good day (and a huge day) for Michigan, the B1G, and lacrosse in general.